Maldives Seasons

We've created this "guide" to assist first time travelers to the Maldives in planning their adventure. Not every itinerary, or every dive site, or every price range is for everyone. Take the time now to make the right choice by minimizing surprises and maximizing your total dive holiday experience!

There are two distinct diving seasons in the Maldives. Choosing which season is right for you can be a very important decision. Within each season, there are factors that should affect your decision.

What are the factors?  Itinerary / Currents / Visibility / Price / Sea life
A note about the two seasons: Maldives diving is year round. Each season brings the opportunity to see the same creatures, BIG and small. It is the conditions that make the seasons different. Of interest: the Maldives waters support the world's largest known population of reef manta rays all year round.

During the Southwest season from May-October diving on the west side of the atolls can be very active - good visibility typically attracts large schools of pelagic creatures including different species of sharks, tuna, wrasse, rays and turtles. Diving on the east side of the atolls can make this season very special. Though the visibility will be decreased due to the increased plankton, it is the best time and place in the Maldives to see manta rays and whale sharks, making up for the reduced viz. This is manta-feeding season so there are usually more mantas during these months. The months of June and July are the 'official' rainy season. Because the Maldives is in the equatorial belt, severe storms and cyclones are extremely rare events.

Itinerary: Several to choose from – of special interest are the 7-night itineraries starting or ending in Ari or Baa atolls (these require a domestic flight for around $165pp but well worth it if you like avoiding crowds). Since most boats will be headed back to Male you'll have time and space on the day before departure to snorkel in South Ari, hopefully with the whale sharks or in Baa with feeding manta rays.

Currents: The currents are not typically as strong this time of year or on these itineraries. These itineraries are recommended for those who may not be advanced divers or very comfortable in strong currents.

Visibility: Will be reduced, especially on the east side of the atolls, but, remember, reduced visibility means more plankton which means more mantas!!!

Sea life: As mentioned above, same creatures year round but there are definitely more mantas hanging out and feeding around Baa Atoll this time of year. And, don't forget about the macro photography opportunities – this is not only a big animal destination...the little guys are here, too!

The Northeast season from November-April is the Maldivian summer though there is little difference in temperatures from season to season. Conditions are drier, visibility is generally very good and the reef life is usually colorful. Current can be very strong dependent upon itinerary. Due to currents flowing from the northeast, there can be a lot of shark action on the east side of the atolls. During this season, the manta and whale sharks will mostly be found on the west side of the atolls.

Itinerary: Several to choose from – Central Island itineraries (consisting of North Male, Ari, Rasdhoo and South Male) are 'typical' of the Maldives. Because of their reputation, these itineraries are very popular with liveaboards and resorts alike. You will find itineraries that go north, some that go south and some that go deep south. Most itineraries that go north will be more like the ones described above in the Southwest Season. Those that go a little south will likely include Vaavu and/or Meemu where channel diving will be the norm. Here the currents are definitely stronger and you should be comfortable diving in variable up-and down-currents if you select one of these itineraries. For the Deep South trips that start or end in Addu, even more experience is required – these trips feature up to 3 dives a day (rather than our normal 4 on Carpe Vita Explorer), all channel diving and lots of transit time. These are exhilarating trips but should be reserved for divers experienced in diving in strong currents and who love diving with sharks!

Currents: On average, the currents begin to flow in November and get stronger through January. As we move into February they begin to subside a bit and April has more slack currents. But, it depends a great deal on what itinerary you are on – the further south you go, the stronger the current due to the amount of channel diving. In addition, April and November are months where the currents start changing therefore making them more difficult for the dive guides to predict.

Visibility: Should be very good on the east side of the atolls; can be a little reduced on the west side but that's where you're more likely to find the mantas and whale sharks.

Sea life: As mentioned above, same creatures year round but you will find more species of sharks the further south you go. The reef life can be beautiful. Good photo opportunities but it can be very challenging on itineraries with strong current, especially with a large housing with strobes.

Maldives Sample Itineraries

Please note that these itineraries are examples only, may be repeated throughout the year (not just in the season indicated) and will change depending on weather and logistics at the Captain's discretion.

Days aboard Carpe Vita Explorer & Carpe Novo Explorer generally involve a cold breakfast from 6:00 am followed by a first morning dive, Full breakfast, second morning dive, lunch around 12:00 pm, one or two afternoon dives (depending on the vessel and itinerary) and dinner at 6:30 or 7:00 pm. On the day or days when night dives are offered, dinner is typically around 8:00 pm.

Far North Itineraires - Possible atolls include: North Male, Lhaviyani, Shaviyani, Haa Dhaalu, Noonu, Raa, Baa, Rasdhoo, Ari, Vaavu and South Male.

This unique routing starts and ends in Male, making domestic flights unnecessary. The 11-night itinerary will typically go as far north as Haa Dhaalu while on the 10-night itinerary; the most northern atoll visited will be Raa. Carpe Vita Explorer & Carpe Novo Explorer have visited many of these sites and therefore know them well, there will also be some exciting exploration of new sites during these trips as well. These trips are designed to take guests away from other boat traffic. This will mean we will likely be the only boat on most of the dive sites the further north we go. The North is characterized by beautiful reef formations and an abundance of fish life. These trips will have some great shark life as well as manta cleaning station sites and an exciting site with friendly green turtles. By visiting Ari atoll and Vaavu atoll at the end of the itinerary, guests will still have a chance to see whale sharks and take part in the 'famous' manta and nurse shark night dives – however, more boat traffic should be expected here. Please note that due to the additional distance covered, there will be an additional fuel surcharge.

Central/Southern Itineraries - Possible atolls include: North Male, South Male, South Ari, Meemu, Thaa, Vaavu and South Male.

Starting and ending in Male, this routing is great for those who want exhilarating channel diving without the extended travel and domestic flight required for our deep south trips. This 10-night itinerary will WOW guests from the beginning with a visit to South Ari in hopes of encountering whale sharks and mantas. The further south this itinerary takes you, the bigger variety of sharks can be expected. You'll find channel diving at Meemu, Thaa and Vaavu – with currents that typically bring in the sharks. The diving at these atolls can be challenging but the reward for experienced divers is great. Sharks are not the only attraction on this itinerary; these southern atolls are also known for fish life and beautiful soft corals. You might even catch a glimpse of a hammerhead at Thaa Atoll!

Central/Southern Itineraries - Possible atolls include: North Male, Ari, Vaavu and South Male

Maldives 7-night trips, starting and ending in Male, are concentrated on Ari Atoll with an extension to the South. As on the Far north itinerary, this 7-night adventure includes visits to Ari and Vaavu atolls where guests will have an opportunity see whale sharks and take part in the 'famous' manta and nurse shark night dives – however, more boat traffic should be expected here. Vaavu is also known for channel diving and the chance to see lots of sharks. These dives are for experienced divers who enjoy currents, which, of course, bring the pelagic activity!

One-way trips between Male and Baa, Ari and Laamu are also offered during this season. These itineraries offer the opportunity to spend more time with whale sharks and mantas in less crowded situations. (These require a domestic flight for around $165pp for Baa and Ari and around $209 for Laamu.)

Deep South Shark Itineraries
The Carpe Vita Explorer & Carpe Novo Explorer offer special routings to the Deep South where guests will get away from the crowd and find something quite different from the normal Ari Atoll routings. This is of special interest to repeat clients who have already experienced our regular central/northern/southern itineraries. These routings will take place during peak high season (February/March/April) when the currents are at their strongest and visibility at its best. This is the perfect itinerary on which to enjoy the abundance of sharks the Maldives has to offer. Because these routings involve a lot of traveling, there will be a fuel surcharge and there will be the necessity for a domestic flight, either at the beginning of the trip or at the end.

Itinerary:
Male to Addu or Addu to Male (10/11-night)
Possible atolls include: South Male, South Ari (on 11 night trip), Vaavu, Meemu, Thaa, Laamu, Huvadhoo, Fuvahmulah and Addu.

Our unique 10-night trip starts in Male and endings all the way past the equator in Addu or starts in Addu and ends in Male. On the 11-night trips South Ari atoll will be added. Guests will require a domestic flight back from Gan to Male for the trips ending in Addu or from Male to Gan for trips starting in Addu. The routing is suitable for experienced divers only due to the currents and number of channel dives involved. The routing is focused on seeing lots of sharks including possible thresher and tiger sharks, hammerheads, whale sharks and mantas plus the possibility of seeing the rare Mola molas (sunfish). 

NOTE: Due to governmental restrictions, when visiting Hanifaru Bay, the manta activity may be limited to snorkeling and there may be a small 'entry' fee.

Explorer Ventures Maldives Pricing

Carpe Vita Explorer

    May - October Nov. - April
VIP Upper Deck Suites: King or twin beds, sitting area, large windows, desk/chair, dresser, 2 hanging closets, TV/DVD/HD player, private ensuite bathroom with dual sinks and shower & tub.

Suites 1-2.

2017-2019
(Valid through Oct. 2019)
7 night: $2,720 7 night: $3,140
10 night: $3,770 10 night: $4,335
Main Deck Staterooms:

King or twin beds, desk/chair, dresser, hanging closet, large windows, flat panel TV, private ensuite bathroom and shower. Staterooms 3-4.

2017-2019
(Valid through Oct. 2019)
7 night: $2,520 7 night: $2,940
10 night: $3,570 10 night: $4,135
Lower Deck Staterooms:

One queen and one twin bed, desk/chair, dresser, hanging closet, port holes, flat panel TV, private ensuite bathroom and shower. Staterooms 5-10.

2017-2019
(Valid through Oct. 2019)
7 night: $2,320 7 night: $2,740
10 night: $3,370 10 night:$3,935
Plus: $6/night per person Government Green Tax, possible extended range/fuel surcharge payable on board; domestic flights if required. Please check our full fleet schedule for itinerary information.

Package includes: 7 nights/8 days or 10 nights/11 days aboard the vessel; up to 4 dives daily (weather and itinerary permitting); 3 meals daily; soft drinks, snacks, towels, linens, etc.; use of tanks, weights and weight belts, all air fills, same day transfers; goods & service tax; 2 glasses of beer or wine included at dinner.

Rates may increase for existing reservations and will be confirmed no later than 12 months before the charter departure date. If the increase is due to an increase in the local government taxes (GST), it may occur within 12 months of travel.

  • All pricing are in US Dollars, per person double occupancy.

Carpe Novo Explorer

   

May - October

Nov. - April

Upper Deck Junior Suites: 
King or twin beds or king bed only, hanging closet, desk, large windows, flat panel TV/HD player, private ensuite bathroom with sink, dual cabinets and shower. Suites 1-4.

2017-2018 (Valid through 
Oct. 2018)

7 night: $2,163

7 night: $2,596

10 night: $2,999

10 night: $3,590

2018-2019 (Valid through 
Oct. 2019)

7 night: $2,163

7 night: $2,740

10 night: $2,999

10 night: $3,840

Main Deck Single Staterooms:
Queen bed, desk, hanging closet, large windows, TV/HD player, private ensuite bathroom and shower. Staterooms 5-6.

2017-2018 (Valid through 
Oct. 2018)

7 night: $2,163

7 night: $2,596

10 night: $2,999

10 night: $3,590

2018-2019 (Valid through 
Oct. 2019)

7 night: $2,163

7 night: $2,740

10 night: $2,999

10 night: $3,840

Lower Deck Staterooms: 
One queen and one twin bed or two twin beds, desk, hanging closet, port holes, TV/HD player, private ensuite bathroom and shower. Staterooms 7-12.

2017-2018 (Valid through 
Oct. 2018)

7 night: $1,863

7 night: $2,296

10 night: $2,699

10 night: $3,290

2018-2019 (Valid through 
Oct. 2019)

7 night: $1,863

7 night: $2,540

10 night: $2,699

10 night: $3,640

Fleet price/term sheet (PDF)

Terms and Conditions

  • All prices are in US Dollar, per person double occupancy. Please see our website for vessel diagrams and bed configurations.
  • Receipt of deposit guarantees charter pricing currently in effect for date range specified, except where otherwise noted. A 30% deposit is required to confirm a reservation. Final payments for Caribbean travel are due 60 days prior to travel (90 days for Galapagos and Maldives). Please see booking terms for full details. Contact us for further information on booking and cancellation terms, as well as group charter terms and rates.
  • Guaranteed Single Occupancy Supplement: Caribbean departures are billed an additional 65% of the retail stateroom price and Galapagos & Maldives departures are billed an additional 80% of the retail stateroom price.
  • All information is accurate at time of printing, but is subject to change without notice. For the most current pricing, vessel and itinerary information, please visit our website. Onboard charges are subject to change up until date of departure.
  • All transportation and onboard services are provided by foreign affiliates. Explorer Ventures (USA) Ltd. acts only as booking agent.